Fast Facts

Profile

  • Darwin is the tropical capital city of the Northern Territory, which makes up one sixth of the Australian continent.
  • It has an estimated population of 140,000 people (ABS, 2014), boasting a lively mix of more than 60 nationalities.
  • The city's multicultural mix is particularly highlighted by its many exciting ethnic cultural festivals and weekly food and craft markets.
  • Darwin has developed into a vibrant, dynamic modern capital city offering a wide range of accommodation, cafes, restaurants, and nightlife options for business and leisure travellers.
  • Local residents are known for being warm and welcoming, so enjoy the friendly hospitality they offer.
  • In business and industry circles, Darwin is described as Australia's gateway with South East Asia. It is located within two and a half hours of Indonesia, and has a similar flight time from Singapore and Manila as it is to Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Darwin is the main service centre for a wide range of industries including mining, offshore oil and gas production, tourism and tropical horticulture. The Port of Darwin is also the main outlet for Australia’s live cattle export trade into South East Asia.
  • Darwin’s traditional owners, the Larrakia people, are active and prominent members of the local community.

Access

  • Darwin is approximately four hour flight time from the majority of Australian capital cities, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Manilla, and only 2½ hours from Bali.
  • Darwin International Airport is 12 kilometres or a short 15 minute drive from the Darwin’s city centre. Taxis are also available 24 hours a day and a trip to the airport will cost approximately $25.
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Darwin International Airport receives regular direct services from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth Brisbane, Cairns and Alice Springs serviced by Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia airlines.
  • Airnorth and Skywest airlines also operate out of Darwin International Airport, providing essential links for regional communities, tourists and businesses throughout Northern Territory and Western Australia
  • The Ghan is a legendary outback train regularly running between Darwin and Adelaide with a number of scenic stops along the way.
  • Darwin is also one of Australia’s cruise ship ports.

History

  • The Larrakia people are the traditional land owners that have lived in the greater Darwin region since before European settlement. They had trading routes with South East Asia, as well as South and Western Australia.
  • The city was named in 1839 when the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbour and the ship’s captain named the port after Charles Darwin, the British Naturalist.
  • Darwin city was officially founded in 1869. The population rapidly expanded after gold was discovered at Pine Creek in 1871.
  • The didgeridoo, famed instrument of the indigenous Australians, originally came from Arnhem Land, just east of Darwin.
  • During World War II Darwin was a major military base for allied troops in the Pacific. It was bombed twice on 19February 1942 by the same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbour. From 1942 to 1943 there were a total of 64 air raids on the city.
  • Darwin was granted city status on Australia Day (26 January) 1959.
  • On 25 December 1974, Darwin was struck by Cyclone Tracey, with winds recorded up to 217 kilometres per hour. Over 70% of the city's buildings were destroyed and 71 people killed. It was declared Australia's worst natural disaster.
  • The city was subsequently rebuilt with newer materials and techniques during the late 1970's, with all buildings constructed to a strict cyclone code.
  • Today, Darwin is a thriving modern capital city with one of the fastest growing economies in Australia, as it maximises its strengths in industry and tourism.

Climate

  • Darwin enjoys a year-round tropical climate averaging 30°C (86ºF).
  • From May to September, the days are warm with sunny blue skies, while the nights are slightly cooler. This time of year is known as the 'dry season' with gorgeous weather, lower humidity and minimal rain.
  • From December to March, Darwin experiences a tropical summer, known as the 'wet season'. It is the ideal time to see the Northern Territory at its greenest, enjoying secluded waterholes, cool waterfalls and billabongs teeming with exotic wildlife.
  • The coolest months of the year are June and July, when daily temperature range from 19ºC (66.2ºF) to 30ºC (86ºF).
  • Summer clothing is worn year-round, with a light jumper, cardigan or jacket required occasionally in air-conditioned spaces.
  • Casual clothes are a mark of Darwin lifestyle but smarter attire is expected in offices, hotels and restaurants. 

Communication

  • Free Wi-Fi is located at numerous venues throughout Darwin and the Northern Territory.
  • Business centre facilities including broadband internet are offered at most hotels and a variety of retail outlets.
  • Darwin is serviced by extensive mobile networks, however coverage is some parts of regional Australia is more limited.

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